February 2010 Issue
Matt Fox’s Potting Bench
Featured in the February issue of Ohio Magazine is a handy potting bench with decorative pickets and birdhouses, designed by Matt Fox, who will be appearing with fellow do-it-yourself expert Shari Hiller at the Great Big Home & Garden Expo in Cleveland in Feb. 6–14. Check the schedule for Matt and Shari’s appearances on Feb. 6 and 7.
Interested in going to the new Great Big Home & Garden Show in Cleveland? Ohio Magazine
readers and their friends can purchase discount tickets beginning today. Visit www.greatbighomeandgardenshow.com
and enter OHIO in for the promo code when purchasing tickets. The following are the directions for the picket fence and birdhouses that embellish the potting bench. The materials are included in the list for the potting bench in the February issue article “Room to Improve
.” For more projects, visit Matt and Shari’s Web site
Click here to see and print out diagrams of the potting bench.
1. Cut one 8-foot 1x4 in half for back picket supports (J).
2. From another 8-foot 1x4, cut one 27 1/2-inch length for center picket (K) and two 26 1/2-inch lengths for pickets (L). From another 8-foot 1x4, cut two 24-inch lengths for pickets (M) and two 21 1/2-inch lengths for pickets (N).
3. From one 8-foot 1x8, cut two 28-inch lengths for birdhouse backs (O), one 20-inch length for one door (P), two 5 1/4-inch lengths for birdhouse top fronts (Q) and one 2-inch length for one birdhouse bottom front (R).
4. Rip 6-foot 1x8 to 6 1/2 inches wide. Cut two 7 ¼-inch lengths for outside, or long, roof sections (S1) and two 6 ½-inch lengths for inside, or short, roof sections (S2). Rip remainder of board to 5 3/4 inches wide. Cut four 5 3/4-inch pieces for shelves (T).
5. From 10-foot 1x8, cut one 20-inch length for another door (P) and one 2-inch length for another birdhouse bottom front (R). Rip the remainder to 5 3/4 inches wide. Cut four 24-inch lengths for sides (U).
Refer to Figure 4 for steps 6 through 8.
6. Find center of top of birdhouse top-front pieces (Q) and mark (approximately 3 5/8 inches from each side). Measure and mark 2 inches up from bottom corners and connect these points with top center point by drawing a line. Cut on lines to form birdhouse peak.
7. Using Forstner bit cut a 2 1/2-inch hole centered in piece.
8. Find center of top of birdhouse back pieces (O) and mark (approximately 3 5/8 inches from each side). Measure and mark 4 1/2 inches down from top corners and connect these points with top center point by drawing a line. Cut on lines to form birdhouse peak.
Refer to Figure 5 for steps 9 and 10.
9. Find center of top of each picket (K, L, M and N) and mark (approximately 1 3/4 inches from each end). Measure down 1 3/4 inch on each side and mark. Draw lines to connect points and trim off points with jigsaw.
10. Using Forstner bit, drill a 2 1/2-inch hole centered on a point 1 3/4 inches from top and sides of picket.
Directions for birdhouse assembly:
Birdhouses may be built one at a time or simultaneously. They should be mirror images of each other.
1. Butt sides (U) into birdhouse back (O) with bottoms flush and secure with two screws through back into sides.
2. Butt bottom front (R) against sides (U) with bottoms flush and secure with screws through front into sides.
3. Position shelves (T) inside the birdhouse and secure with screws through the sides and back.
4. Attach hinge to door (P), then attach hinge to birdhouse side (U), allowing a slight space between door and bottom front so door swings freely. (Hinge should be located on the outer side of each birdhouse, so door opens from center.) Attach knob to door.
5. Attach top-front pieces (Q) to sides (U), again allowing a slight space between door and top front so door swings freely.
6. Referring to Figure 6, attach short roof sections (S2) (right section for left birdhouse, and left section for right birdhouse) with screws through roof into front and back. Attach long sections of roof (S1) on opposite sides.
Directions for picket assembly:
1. Locate and mark centers of back picket supports (J) and 7 inches from each end.
2. Center picket (K) face down on work surface. Place next two pickets (L) on each side of K, approximately 1 1/4 inches away. Lay out remaining pickets (M and N), using back picket support (J) as a straight edge to line up bottoms of pickets. Pickets should not go past 7-inch mark at each end of back picket support (J). If they do, readjust spacing between pickets until pickets all fall within space.
3. Lay back picket support (J) over pickets arranged on work surface, approximately 6 inches from bottom of pickets. Make sure centers of back picket support (J) and picket (K) are lined up. Secure back picket support (J) to pickets with screws driven through support into pickets. Position other back picket support (J) approximately 6 inches from the top of center picket (K) and secure with screws through back picket support (J) into pickets.
Directions for final assembly:
1. Position birdhouses at rear corners of potting bench with back and side edges flush. Lightly mark outlines of birdhouses in pencil on potting-bench top. Pre-drill several pilot holes through bottom of bench top just inside pencil lines.
2. Run a thin bead of glue around bottom edges of birdhouses and reposition on bench top. Attach with screws through pilot holes. Remove excess glue if necessary.
3. Place picket section on bench top between birdhouses and mark location of back picket supports on backs of birdhouses. Pre-drill several pilot holes through back picket supports into birdhouse backs. Apply glue to bottoms of pickets and secure back picket supports to birdhouse backs. Remove excess glue if necessary.